Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Vision”

The Role of Leadership Vision

I was thinking about the concept of leadership and the importance of the leader’s vision to the group of people being lead. Specifically, the multiple levels in which leadership vision works. I know a lot of this is well-trodden territory, but it helped my train of thought on something else to write this down:

  1. There is the obvious creation of a fully-sensory vision (if done well) of where that group of people are going. If the full group are engaged in the vision then there is a shared view of a successful future outcome. A shared goal.
  2. In being created by one person, the groups’ actions should have an extra degree of alignment. Aligned actions to achieve the goal.
  3. A leader’s vision enables the individual to fill in the gaps within a defined framework/ journey direction. It is this that enables the engagement and commitment required for major action. An engagement framework .
  4. It makes action towards the goal by the group easier. Sharing or signing up for a collective or corporate vision make it easier to focus on the doing, rather than worrying about where you’re going. Making actions easier.
  5. There is the need and specific accountability of the leader to keep on communicating that vision to the group he or she is leading. An important element of communication is the flexibility to communicate in a way that works for the recipients of the communication. The effort behind this communication re-affirms/ strengthens and makes more real the vision for the leader. A self-reaffirming vision for the leader.
  6. The act of constantly communicating and aligning execution behind the vision also facilitates a level of analysis, introspection and criticism of the vision against new facts and changes in the environment as they arise. This sets the stage for any potential tweaks to the vision, or strategies to deliver that vision, in closer to real-time. A self-adjusting mechanic.

Imagining is a Human Core Competence

The phenomenal self model (PSM) is ‘the conscious model of the organism as a whole that is activated by the brain’. Thomas Metzinger’s ‘The Ego Tunnel – the Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self’ refers to it as ‘probably one of nature’s best inventions’

‘Whenever our brains successfully pursue the ingenious strategy of creating a unified and dynamic inner portrait of reality, we become conscious’

‘First, our brains generate a world-simulation, so perfect that we do not recognise it as an image in our minds. Then, they generate an inner image of ourselves as a whole. This image includes not only our body and our psychological states but also our relationship to the past and the future, as well as to other conscious beings’

My marginalia at this point in my first reading of the book explodes. One of my long-term passions (and the core objective of this blog) is to investigate the relationship between the conscious mind and other-than-consciousness in relation to vision and goal-setting. I was immediately struck by Metzinger’s words above because of the sophistication that it infers the brain must have in the areas of image creation, belief and subsequent thoughts and actions reliant on the images and vision created. Some inter-linked areas I’ve explored:

What Could You Do in the Future With Your Imagination Now? illustrates the MRI scans from a brain remembering and imagining: the same areas are used.

How The Different Parts of The Brain Help Vision and Goal-Setting is my earlier, formative attempt to start to pull the findings of neuroscience into the vision area.

NLP, Modelling and Scenario Planning looked at the area from a business planning perspective following a great article by Ram Charan.

In Seth Godin’s compilation ebook, What Matters Now, Michael Hyatt writes about vision: ‘Leadership is more than influence. It is about reminding people of what it is we are trying to build—and why it matters. It is about painting a picture of a better future.

So, one conclusion to draw is that one of our core competences as Homo sapiens is the ability to imagine – to become conscious by creating a ‘inner portrait of reality’ – and then to project forward future realities.

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Run a Business Like Making a Movie

Films are successful only if everyone, from key grip to leading actor, shares a common understanding of what the end result must look and sound like.

Harvard Business Review’s Bendapudi & Bendapudi use Limited Brand’s CEO’s Les Wexner’s citation of Sidney Lumet’s book Making Movies to make the point about the role of leadership; to use language that employees get to get them to achieve things together.

The idea of leader as director and the company’s strategy as a movie is fantastic. The role of communication and engagement of the participants in the creation of a future reality (what consumers will buy) is a wonderful mindshift of the normal things leaders consider important.

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